Entries Tagged as 'Qaddafi'

Justice Now for the Lockerbie Bomber

August 31st, 2011 at 1:59 pm 27 Comments

It’s not necessary to have a conspiratorial mind, order to be suspicious or cynical about Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, the convicted Lockerbie bomber, still being alive–albeit not thriving–in Libya.

The guy was supposed to be dead within three months of being released to Libya and Moammar Qaddafi in 2009 from a life sentence in Scotland on curious compassionate grounds.

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Don’t Expect Democracy in Libya

August 25th, 2011 at 12:12 pm 19 Comments

From the widespread reaction, you’d think the collapse of Muammar Qaddafi’s regime in Libya was a World War II-type victory.

In fact it took six months of U.S., Canadian, British, French and NATO air strikes–most of the target practice with no return fire–before the “rebels”  broke through to Tripoli.

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The Freedom Agenda Gets Vindicated

August 23rd, 2011 at 8:50 am 112 Comments

George W. Bush’s place in the pantheon of celebrated American presidents is far from secure. Nevertheless, the collapse of Muammar Qaddafi’s regime in Libya sheds new light on President Bush’s vigorous support for democratic values across the entire Middle East.

An Obama administration starved of good news will likely seek and receive credit for helping topple the dictatorship, but his predecessor deserves substantial credit for envisioning and perhaps even helping instigate the Arab Spring – of which the events in Libya constitute only the latest chapter – as a whole.

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What Did We Just Win in Libya?

David Frum August 22nd, 2011 at 7:11 am 101 Comments

Back in the Fall of 2001, we all celebrated as local forces backed by NATO airpower ejected the Taliban from control of Afghanistan’s cities. All seemed over but the peacekeeping. The rest of the story, you know.

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Arrest Warrant Won’t Make Qaddafi Budge

May 31st, 2011 at 8:05 am 3 Comments

By issuing an arrest warrant for his war crimes, pharmacy the chief prosecutor for the International Criminal Court is guaranteeing that Libya’s Muammar Qaddafi won’t go quietly.

The arrest by Serbian police of Ratko Mladic, Butcher of Srebrenica, should not be confused with the rhetoric over Qaddafi. Mladic was out of power, sick, frail and on the run, and was responsible for the slaughter of thousands of hepless Muslims.

By taking aim at Gadhafi, Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo seems intent on ensuring that no tyrant leaves his post quietly.

Might as well hold on and fight to the end, rather than wind up at the kangaroo court at the Hague, that countries like China, India, the U.S., Israel and others don’t recognize, and see as a potential pawn to settle scores.

Moreno-Ocampo radiates sanctimony and arrogance – an unpleasant combination. His reason for wanting Qaddafi put on trial is, he says, because “he shot at demonstrators using live ammunition, using heavy weaponry against funeral processions.”

Goodness gracious! Imagine that?

Qaddafi has been oppressing Libyans for over 30 years. He’s also been sending out assassins and encouraging terrorists. He’s sabotaged airliners, blown up discos, tried to acquire nuclear weapons, and done what he can to subvert neighbors.

During all that mischief, the ICC didn’t see fit to issue warrant for his arrest. Instead, leaders of democratic countries competed to shake his hand. He was appointed to the UN Human Rights Commission, made the president of the African Union, won accolades from countries that sought to share his oil wealth.

It was only when the Libyan people rebelled against his repressiveness, that the “free” world took note and said “for shame.” Until then, President Barack Obama was silent and, if not approving of Qaddafi, tolerated his tyranny.

Obama’s predecessors also tolerated Qaddafi — with the notable exception of Ronald Reagan who tried to kill him in an air strike in retaliation for the bombing of a German disco that killed U.S. soldiers.

Although he supports British, French and Canadian air attacks on Qaddafi, Obama insists he’s not trying to kill him or force a regime change.

The hypocrisy is stunning.

As for the shooting of demonstrators, why is Moreno-Ocampo not issuing warrants for the arrest of Syria’s Bashir Assad, whose troops at this very moment are probably shooting someone? How about killings in Yemen, Bahrain, Sudan, Nigeria, Ivory Coast and across the Arab world and Africa?

All these incipient rebellions stress democracy – yet none of these countries has ever lived under democratic rule, much less practiced it.

Hypocrisy and double-standards echo around the world.

The ICC serves little purpose. It has no way of enforcing its warrants, and its effect is to harden the resistance of tyrants who don’t want to end up like Mladic.

International bodies are prone to be taken over by those whose agenda is far from altruistic, witness how every time there’s a crisis in the Middle East, Israel is blamed at the UN. Even Israel’s allies show support by abstaining in votes—some friendship!

Israel is often wrong, but is the only country in the area that wants peace, but is not allowed to have it with security.

As for Qaddafi, it’s unlikely he’ll ever leave Libya, and will die there, rather than surrender. Meanwhile, Luis Moreno-Ocampo will wait until Syria’s homicidal leader is on the run before railing against him.


NATO’s Plan B: Send More Guns

April 24th, 2011 at 9:39 am 10 Comments

After a trip to Benghazi, Senator John McCain is calling for increased assistance for the Libyan rebels. Much of the new weaponry for the rebels will merely counter the West’s own efforts in building up Qaddafi’s forces. The West’s humanitarian intervention in Libya is already resorting to a familiar gameplan: send more weapons.

In a recent piece for the Daily Mail, Stephen Glover asked: “How can we be so blindly stupid as to sell arms to despots then bleat about democracy?” Showcasing primarily Britain’s complicity in selling weapons to the likes of Qadaffi and Zimbabawe’s “democratically elected” despot, Robert Mugabe, his question is perfectly valid.

The Sunday Times reported in 2009 that “Tony Blair helped to secure defence contracts worth £350m and the promise of more as part of the deal with Libya that allowed the Lockerbie bomber to return home.” – Adding that Blair had no authority to release someone who had been convicted (Lockerbie bomber, Megrahi).

The sad fact is that amongst internationally competing rivals, the “real world’s” historic reliance upon “spheres of influence,” “special relationships,” and “balance of power” (preferably a dominating balance) continues. So deals with the devil continue.

At the end of the day, noble doctrines like “Responsibility to Protect” – employed by the UN in the West’s Libya intervention – are really exercises in noble rhetoric. The UN Security Council may continue passing “R2P” resolutions for cases like Libya. But needlessly so.

Under Article 8 of the UN Convention on Genocide, “Any Contracting Party may call upon the competent organs of the United Nations to take such action under the Charter of the United Nations as they consider appropriate for the prevention and suppression of acts of genocide…”

Which means that intervention could have occurred in Rwanda…or Cambodia against the Khmer Rouge back in the 1970s – as indeed, the Vietnamese did in 1979. The fact is, however, that no great power wanted to get caught in a Hutu-Tutsi quagmire deep in Africa  — “a quarrel in a far away country between people of whom we know nothing” as Chamberlain said after Munich.   Or in Bosnia. So everyone kept looking away, deliberately avoiding use of the “genocide” word, And so on up to Darfur.

The adoption of the “responsibility to protect” doctrine by the UN in 2005 was a chest thumping opportunity to make up for failures to protect against genocide – authorized by the UN Genocide Convention in December, 1948. That’s progress?

In any event, the likes of Qadaffi and Mugabe will at some point be history. They are also pipsqueaks in power. But what if China decides upon genocide for its’ Islamic Uighur people in Xinjiang. Chances are any intervening power(s) will themselves prove to be pipsqueaks.

Will there be more R2P interventions as in Libya and the Cote d’Ivoire? Don’t count on it. In 2000, Kofi Annan famously said “The days of a coup…of manipulating elections are over.” when Laurent Gbagbo – recently R2P’d out of office – himself overthrew General Guei.

Approximately 275 military coups occurred between 1946 and 1970 in 59 countries. Since “The Millenium,” there have been coups in Ecuador and Fiji (2000), Guinea (2008), and Honduras (2009); attempted coups in Venezuela (2002), Equatorial Guinea (2004), Chad (2004/06), Madagascar (2006), and political instability in Bangladesh and the Philippines.

The days of the coup, it seems, are not quite over. Libya’s rebels will get the weapons they need, as will others…


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Sen. McCain: Share What You Know About Libya

David Frum April 22nd, 2011 at 4:06 pm 22 Comments

Sen. John McCain in Libya urges recognition of the anti-Qaddafi rebels as the country’s legitimate government. I assume he has had more extensive discussions with the rebels than most of us. It would be a real service if he would sit down for a detailed interview with somebody knowledgeable to tell what he knows about the rebels and detail the reasons for his confidence that the rebels are not inspired by or beholden to radical Islamism.


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Do Dictators Need a Retirement Home?

April 22nd, 2011 at 3:35 pm 10 Comments

As the conflict in Libya unfolds, viagra Muammar Qaddafi faces a stark choice — fight a violent battle to stay in power or step aside and face the consequences: an international trial, rx the loss of all wealth and privilege. In the past, viagra sale dictators would avail themselves of a third option: the negotiated exile with the loss of power but not privilege. But where could Qaddafi go to live out his days?

Before he fled Paraguay for asylum in Brazil, Gen. Alfredo Stroessner was rumored to have considered construction of a city for asylumed dictators, toppled from abroad. Had he succeeded in establishing this haven, he may have created a model state as “a destination of choice” for such people!  With stolen foreign coffers securely transferred to the Paraguayan state, Stroessner’s armed forces would have ensured the safety of demonized dignitaries and rulers on the run — in need of a place to sleep, in need of a little respect.

Serbia’s Milosevic could have made a nonstop midnight flight from Belgrade to Asunción instead of ending up in a Dutch prison cell. Sierra Leone’s Charles Taylor could have transferred his blood diamonds to Paraguay’s safe-keeping.  Of course, in such a refuge there’d be no distinctions between left or right-wing, military or populist ex-dictators. All paying refugees on the lam would be treated equally!

There are of course historical precedents. France is the modern example of a home for dictators. Ayatollah Khomeini waited there in exile until 1979. Jean-Claude Duvalier, “Baby Doc” fled there from Haiti in 1986.

In ancient times, dictatorship was an honorable calling – the temporary seizing of power to dethrone tyrants who had no accountability to mortals.  But now everything’s become blurred: Noriega was once a useful CIA contact before being imprisoned as a common drug trafficker.

Gerry Adams, responsible for the murder of over 3,000 innocents, is today a feted former terrorist– all because he signed the Good Friday Accords. Pinochet, once a “bulwark against the advance of Communism,” has – with Bolshevism’s disappearance – become an embarrassing burden who has outlived his day. Jack Straw made sure he was unwelcome in England, despite the British using Chilean airbases during the Falklands War.   Then there’s Yasser Arafat, the Nobel Peace Prize winning terrorist whom no one could figure out how to handle until his death graciously intervened.

So here’s a proposal: As an alternative to the International Criminal Court, let the United Nations find a modestly sized island capable of sustaining life, and pass an international treaty designating it as a drop haven, a final refuge, for people like Qaddafi with no place else to go A place where exiled dictators can have the chance to retire with what little dignity they can muster. But let the place be closely monitored to prevent escape or outside contact. The world learned the lesson of Napoleon at Elba – something St. Helena cured.


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NATO Doubles Down With Libya’s Rebels

April 21st, 2011 at 12:24 pm 14 Comments

It seems that the rebels in Libya have changed their minds, cialis sale and now want foreign troops on their soil to help them get rid of Muammar Qaddafi.

The official reason is that the troops are needed “for humanitarian principles” because more children are being killed than the rebels anticipated.

The real reason is because the rebels aren’t organized, no rx aren’t trained to fight, online and because Qaddafi’s forces, be they mercenaries or whatever, are far more lethal.

One of those making the appeal for French or British soldiers is Nuri Abdullah Abdullati who is a big shot in the defense of Misrata where the fighting is heavy and the rebels are being clobbered.

Whether the Brits or French will accede to the rebels’ plea is unknown, but the whole scenario lends substance to U.S. President Barack Obama’s reluctance and refusal to commit American soldiers.

Rebellion in Libya and throughout the Arab world is not America’s doing, nor is it Britain’s or France’s responsibility. The cause for rebellion in Libya is Muammar Qaddafi himself.

So let the people who started it, finish it, or quit. It’s almost as simple as that, unless the developed world wants to go back to colonial days of outposts on the fringes of various European empires.

Initially the Libyan rebels only wanted air strikes to take out Qaddafi’s planes and missiles. Otherwise, they had him on the run.

They were wrong – as were foreign observers who felt Qaddafi was a spent force. I include myself in that category. What was overlooked was that Qaddafi is not like other tyrants.

Rather than flee with his sons and Libya’s bank account, Qaddafi turned out to be a tyrant of the old school who was prepared to fight to the end and believed in the myth of his own invulnerability.

Even when some pilots fled with their strike aircraft to Malta rather than bomb their own people, and soldiers shed their uniforms to join the rebels, Qaddafi wasn’t deterred.

Now there seems a chance that he will prevail, at least for a while. In his 30 years in power, Qaddafi has maintained a sort of Praetorian guard, while short-changing the army which he feared might spawn a revolutionary like himself, who’d stage a coup.

Libya is a country of six million people; one would think a combat division of any Western country could mop up Qaddafi’s forces. Libya is hardly a Vietnam quagmire, especially if foreign troops leave when the job is done.

Still, Libya is not the business of any foreign power. Obama was justified not to take charge of ousting Qaddafi, but only play a supporting role.

What about Britain and France, the most hawkish of allied countries eager to bounce Qaddafi? Their temptation is to supply the rebels with weaponry so they can do their own fighting.

The problem with that is twofold: Rebels don’t have sufficient know-how to use modern weaponry effectively, or eventually that weaponry will be used for purposes that are against the interests of those who supplied it.

Saddam Hussein’s war against Iran had both sides using weaponry supplied by the U.S.; Ethiopia’s war against Eritrea used both U.S. and Soviet-supplied weapons; Latin American conflicts use American weaponry; in early Pakistani-Indian conflicts, weapons were supplied by our side.

Anyway, let Libya sort itself out – and we’ll provide aid to the winner, so long as it isn’t Qaddafi.


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The West’s Next Libyan Headache?

April 1st, 2011 at 3:40 pm 1 Comment

The defection to Britain of Muammar Qaddafi foreign minister and intelligence and security chief, the comically-named Moussa Koussa, is devastating to the Libyan dictator.

It’s also going to be a problem for the British and Americans – especially when the Libyan “problem” is eventually resolved.

Moussa Koussa is undoubtedly intelligent, probably knows all there is to know about Muammar Qaddafi, yet he’s about as trustworthy as a rattlesnake. On second thought, that’s probably unfair to rattlesnakes.

When Libya ceases to be a problem, Moussa Koussa will become one.

Probably he should be put on trial for crimes against humanity. As Qaddafi’s intelligence honcho, he undoubtedly was deeply involved in the planning of the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland that killed 270 people as well as the 1989 sabotage of a French airliner in Africa that killed 107.

When Libya was involved in terror acts in other countries – including the assassination of Libyan dissidents – Moussa Koussa would almost certainly have been involved.

Complications in how to treat him, or what to do with him, may hinge on how vital he was as an intelligence source after 9/11 for the British and Americans. That is, assuming reports are accurate that after 9/11 he volunteered information on al-Qaeda to the West.

Koussa also sought to persuade Qaddafi to abandon weapons of mass destruction and back off from acquiring nuclear weapons.

Allied intelligence services may know lots about Moussa Koussa, but the rest of us don’t. What we do know is that he was a sociology graduate of Michigan State University in 1978, whose thesis was about Qaddafi’s leadership.

He was subsequently appointed by Qaddafi to be Libya’s ambassador to Britain, but soon was expelled from the U.K. when he told the London Times that he planned to have a couple of Libyan dissidents in Britain “eliminated.”

Candid, certainly, but not conventionally diplomatic

That Moussa Koussa chose to betray his leader by defecting, while leaving his wife and children in Tripoli to the tender mercies of Qaddafi, speaks volumes about his character, personality, courage, sense of self-worth, loyalty, honor and opportunism.

He may (or may not) be a charmer, but he’s not that admirable.

But he is useful. Of course he is an invaluable source about the goings-on of the Libyan regime, and not only regarding Qaddafi’s thinking, but also on the power, abilities, and personalities of Qaddafi’s sons, with whom he apparently did not get on.

Regardless of Moussa Koussa’s use as an intelligence source, or as a blow to the morale of Qaddafi’s forces, it’ll be something of an outrage if someday he is not put on trial for his involvement in Qaddafi’s crimes against humanity. We shall see.

If nothing else, the defection of one of his closest advisors and co-conspirators is a blow to Qaddafi, who so far has weathered the “no fly zone” air attacks by Britain, France, U.S., Canada and assorted states with disquieting aplomb.

Now there are reports of Qaddafi’s sons sending emissaries to London to discuss how their dad might voluntarily go into exile, on condition that he can do so safely.

Meanwhile, Qaddafi’s forces have apparently discarded tanks, which draw allied aircraft fire, and switched to cannon-mounted jeeps, which are harder for aircraft to detect, and quite effective at routing rebel fighters.