Tag Archives: Benghazi/Libya

Paul Asks Kerry the Important Question

From Allahpundit at Hot Air:

Excellent, and not just the Libya stuff. Stick with it for Paul’s questions about how smart it is to be arming the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt when Morsi is already wheezing about Jews controlling the media in official diplomatic sessions with the U.S. If you’re wondering why it fell to Paul to ask this question instead of any of the more senior senators who preceded him, it’s because the Senate was perfectly happy to have Obama act unilaterally on Libya. The Iraq war authorization came back to haunt many of them; no one knew at the time how messy Libya might get. O did them a favor, left and right, by freeing them from a tough vote. But Kerry can’t say that so instead he squirms through a few minutes of how the two bombing campaigns are different because they just are. Frankly, Paul let him off easy. You could, if you chose, defend U.S. actions in Cambodia as a cross-border extension of the war already being fought in Vietnam. No such defense for Libya; if anything, the Libya war cut against the AUMF against Al Qaeda that was passed after 9/11 because, as we’ve recently learned, eliminating Qadaffi was actually a boon to jihadist groups like AQ…

Do go to the link and check out the video of the questions.  Allahpundit is exactly right that Congress was perfectly happy to let Obama go off on his own in Libya – because it prevented any of them from having to take a vote which, at election time, may have been a burden to carry.  The atrophy of the legislative power of the United States was starkly displayed in the Libya mess, as it is now being put on display in Mali.  This is not actually Obama’s fault – at least in the sense that he didn’t make it all happen by himself.  All Presidents since World War Two have routinely encroached on legislative powers, with the only time Congress acting in a Congressional manner during the Nixon years, and even that wasn’t on principal but merely because Democrats wanted to get Nixon (why?  Because Nixon – establishment Republican that he was – was also a stout anti-communist in the 50′s and was actually more effective, in certain ways, in exposing liberal fellow-traveling with communists than McCarthy ever was; they hated Nixon because he exposed the truth about liberals).   Rand Paul, being a strict constitutionalist, is actually behaving like a Senator who has oversight powers over the Executive branch…and Paul should watch out:  the more he exposes the truth, the more the left is going to hate him.

 

Rubio and Paul Question Clinton

So, Hillary had continual conversations with the Libyan government about the deteriorating security situation in Benghazi…and, then…

Paul notes that Hillary didn’t read the cables from Benghazi which called attention to the deteriorating security situation in Benghazi…

Essentially, Hillary’s contention is that she was on it, but then didn’t bother to read the most important information provided:  that of her ambassador on the ground, whom she has said elsewhere she selected for the job and thus must be presumed to be someone Hillary had trust in.  Paul points out that its not a matter of expecting the Secretary of State to read all cables – that would be both impossible and pointless.  But Libya was clearly a hot spot – we had engaged in military actions to help remove the previous Libyan government and we were making strenuous efforts to forge a viable, pro-western government in Libya…certainly something which should command the interest of our chief foreign policy officer.  Basic competence would require that Hillary read every bit of data coming out of Libya at that time – it strains credulity well past the breaking point to believe that she didn’t read all the cables.  But, she says she didn’t – which might, in a legalistic mind like Hillary’s, get her off the hook but which, in reality, just makes it worse:  it was her job to know.  It is what we paid her to do – and she didn’t do it.

As I expected, Hillary’s testimony as nothing but a patchwork of lies and blame shifting.  Of course, Hillary’s main purpose here was to protect the Clinton brand.  She is thinking of running for President in 2016 and right now she’s very popular in the polls…but Benghazi is the symbol of the utter failure of Obama’s foreign policy as executed by Secretary of State Clinton.  When she does run in 2016, not only will Republicans keep asking about this, but her competitors in the Democrat primary will, too (though Joe Biden will be reticent about it).  Hillary wants this to go away – but between Rubio and Paul (both of whom will probably run in 2016), her utter failure is exposed.

Hillary probably expects her answers to be the final word – more than likely, she won’t ever take any future questions on the matter except in the most friendly venues.  Is pressed, she’ll refer all to her Senate testimony and claim that its old news and there’s nothing more to be said.  But the people of the United States know – with certainty – that by her own words, Hillary failed as an executive officer of our government.

China’s Thug Government Armed Gaddafi

From Strategy Page:

…During the recent fighting in Libya, the rebels complained of encountering government troops armed with new Chinese weapons. Accusations were made that China was selling weapons to the (Gaddafi) dictatorship despite a UN embargo. A little investigating found that this was indeed the case, and that Chinese arms merchants had approached the Libyan government earlier in the year, offering to sneak the weapons in via Algeria and South Africa. The last shipments appear to have arrived in July…

Why?  Because the Chinese government is a corrupt, inhuman dictatorship which simply does not care about human suffering.  If there was a dollar to be made and some influence to be bought, China is right there…acting the rogue while we pretend they are a rational member of the community of nations.

Until the Chinese government is destroyed, this sort of thing will just get worse and worse.  Remember that – and we must start demanding that our leaders treat China as the standing threat it is.

Islamists in Libya

Not a good sign – from Barry Rubin over at Pajamas Media:

Finally, we have evidence that Islamists and even al-Qaeda supporters will play a central role in Libya’s new regime. Up to now there has been reasonable speculation that the U.S. government and NATO might be installing an anti-Western, Islamist government in Libya. Now there’s proof that this is so.

The actual government remains in the hands of non-Islamists, technocrats, ex-regime officials, and moderates. But the armed rebels who actually made the revolution have voted and their idol is…an al-Qaeda guy. Political power, said Mao Zedong, grows out of the barrel of a gun and in Libya’s case this seems a very reasonable expectation.

According to Al Jazeera, the network recommended by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as fair and balanced, Abdul al-Hakim al-Hasadi, also known as Abdelhakim Belhaj, has been named commander of the Tripoli Military Council. He was formerly head of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, an al-Qaeda affiliate. Moderates are understandably nervous…

The guys with the guns do tend to call the shots – and there is just about zero chance that NATO or the United States will start bombing the al-Qaeda affiliated rebels to shore up the non-Islamists. We can still hope that the non-Islamists have enough military force to keep the Islamists in line, but there is one thing you can say about the Islamsits…they do have propaganda convincing to at least that segment of the Moslem population willing to take up arms.  The best bet to make in Libya is that those who fought the hardest are likely to be Islamists, or open to Islamist propaganda.

Another problem hamstringing the rise of decency in Libya is that a good portion of the population is still apparently tribal in outlook…this can work to the advantage of those wanting a free nation, but it can also work against them:  those who are divided up by tribes will be confronting people united across tribal lines in the name of extremist Islam.  In any revolutionary situation, the most determined and disciplined minority will take charge…it was such during our own revolution, and we just hit the jackpot in that the people running our side of the fight were Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Adams and the like.  I haven’t seen any Washington-like person rising in any of the Moslem revolutions of late.

Once again I have to go back to my first views on Libyan intervention – we should have done it much sooner and much harder.  Had we acted swiftly to destroy the Gaddafi regime then it would have been gotten rid of before large bodies of dedicated, revolutionary soldiers were built up.  Before, that is, a large body of Islamist troops were created.  There would have been in reality no rebel army…and thus the chance for decent people to be in charge.  In any military action, there must be celerity of movement and maximum force…if you don’t want to move quickly and with enough power to over-kill the opposition, then it is best not to move at all.  We may get the worst of both worlds…a half-baked military intervention to be followed by a regime overtly hostile to the United States (Gaddafi’s Libya was hostile, but also wasn’t bothering anyone for the past 10 years or so).

Pray that the good guys win…but be prepared for quite a mess in Libya.

UPDATE:  Islamists plot to take over Libya.

UPDATE II:  Libyan rebels round up  blacks as enemies.

 

The Gaddafi-Go-Round

He’s captured, he’s dead…his sons are captured, they’re not captured…they will give you a tour of Tripoli.  The Right Scoop has links to the television video.

Anyone have the foggiest notion of what is going on in Libya?  I sure as heck don’t….but let’s not count Gaddafi out until he’s strung up somewhere…

I guess it all depends on how much money Gaddafi has…has he enough to buy mercenaries, or buy off part of the  rebels?  I guess we’ll have to sit tight and see.

Gaddafi Quits?

From the Telegraph:

…Following an emergency EU meeting of foreign ministers on the situation in Libya, Mr Hague was asked if Britain, or other Western countries, knew if Col. Gaddafi had left Tripoli.

“About whether Col. Gaddafi, is in Venezuela, I have no information that says he is although I have seen some information that suggests he is on his way there,” he said.

British officials stressed that Mr Hague was referring “not to media reports but information from other channels”. “This is credible information,” said a diplomat…

We’ll know in a day or two if this is the case – good riddance to bad rubbish.  But, also, quite a mess to be cleaned up…and one which would have been cleaned up months ago, at much lower cost in blood and treasure, if President Obama had acted with force and decision early on.

What our concern must be now, outside of humanitarian assistance to those injured and displaced by war, is what sort of government emerges.  Reasonably sane, sorta-democratic – good.  Screwball Islamist, not so good.  And I would discount all current information on those leading the rebels – we don’t really know what they are about, and there could be massive changes in that area as the spoils of victory get divvied up.

Remember That “Arab Spring” Thing?

Ain’t quite working out as hoped – from The Daily Star:

The Syrian army consolidated its grip on the hotbed city of Homs on Sunday, activists said, as embattled President Bashar al-Assad sacked the governor of a flashpoint province 48 hours after massive anti-government protests.

Security forces also rounded up hundreds of civilians in Damascus and made a spate of arrests in the town of Sarakeb in the northwestern province of Idlib near the Turkish border, activists said…

Meanwhile, the war in Libya goes on with no end in sight, Egypt heads towards a Moslem Brotherhood government, Iran gets closer to building nuclear weapons and The One – who by “smart diplomacy” was supposed to restore our image – looks ever more weak, flabby and foolish in foreign affairs.

The world is getting ever messier due to the lack of firm leadership in the United States.  There is no policy, just a series of knee-jerk reactions. Bomb Libya to save civilians, but don’t liberate them…meanwhile, don’t bomb Syria to save civilians because … heck, I don’t know:  what is our rationale for not bombing Syria?  Are we still holding to Hillary’s assertion that Little Assad is a “reformer”?

The world works when America wields overwhelming power directed towards clear, achievable ends.   Obama doesn’t know this – I suspect that no one in his foreign policy team knows this.  2012 really can’t get here fast enough…