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1 Dark_Falcon  Wed, Jan 2, 2013 7:55:06am

Let them hole up in fortresses. We've got bunker-busters that'll crack anything they build open like an egg. They want to mass their forces in a place where we can kill them? So much the better, as we'll kill 'em quicker.

2 Destro  Wed, Jan 2, 2013 8:46:35am

re: #1 Dark_Falcon

Let them hole up in fortresses. We've got bunker-busters that'll crack anything they build open like an egg. They want to mass their forces in a place where we can kill them? So much the better, as we'll kill 'em quicker.

Have you seen how big N. Mali is?

In any case, this is a classic case of blowback from the west's overthrowing a tamed Qaddafi via armed force. They resulting war led to arms and lawlessness moving into Mali as the Qadaffi regime armed Tuareg rebels there who then joined up with al-Qaeda (and were kicked aside).

3 Dark_Falcon  Wed, Jan 2, 2013 11:14:24am

re: #2 Destro

Have you seen how big N. Mali is?

In any case, this is a classic case of blowback from the west's overthrowing a tamed Qaddafi via armed force. They resulting war led to arms and lawlessness moving into Mali as the Qadaffi regime armed Tuareg rebels there who then joined up with al-Qaeda (and were kicked aside).

We seem to have a reasonable amount of HUMINT there and that plus air recon can be used to find their hiding places. It's a big area, yes, but that kind of hunt is something the US is actually pretty good at. And they very fact that such fortresses are being built is ultimately good, because their purpose is purely military and they aren't near civilians. That means we can destroy such an installation without worrying about killing innocent civilians.

Moreover, this had less to do with Libya than Mali. If Mali's army had not staged a coup then abdicated its responsibility to its citizens then Al Qaeda would not have been able to take over. Moreover, Gaddafi didn't have to arm the Tuaregs, and play 'ethnic divide and conquer'. He could have been an honest ruler instead. I don't think today's France (for France was the driving force behind action in Libya and is again in Mali) should be blamed for Gaddafi using the sort of tactics the British used in India back in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

4 Destro  Wed, Jan 2, 2013 12:32:22pm

re: #3 Dark_Falcon

Moreover, this had less to do with Libya than Mali. If Mali's army had not staged a coup then abdicated its responsibility to its citizens then Al Qaeda would not have been able to take over.

The article like most western articles that deal in foreign policy get their facts wrong.

The coup happened AFTER The Mali rebels, freshly armed with Libyan arms (either looted or handed over by Qaddafi to Taureg rebels) defeated the regular Mali army. In anger that the Malian army was being neglected they staged a coup (or more than likely the generals fearing being fired for failing to stop the rebel advance chose to take out the president before hand).

I always wonder if such western news disinfo is on purpose or due to incompetence.

5 Dark_Falcon  Wed, Jan 2, 2013 7:02:42pm

re: #4 Destro

Moreover, this had less to do with Libya than Mali. If Mali's army had not staged a coup then abdicated its responsibility to its citizens then Al Qaeda would not have been able to take over.

The article like most western articles that deal in foreign policy get their facts wrong.

The coup happened AFTER The Mali rebels, freshly armed with Libyan arms (either looted or handed over by Qaddafi to Taureg rebels) defeated the regular Mali army. In anger that the Malian army was being neglected they staged a coup (or more than likely the generals fearing being fired for failing to stop the rebel advance chose to take out the president before hand).

I always wonder if such western news disinfo is on purpose or due to incompetence.

I'm going to make a counter argument, using this piece from strategypage.com. Kindly read it over and tell me what you think.

6 Destro  Fri, Jan 4, 2013 12:01:09pm

re: #5 Dark_Falcon

I'm going to make a counter argument, using this piece from strategypage.com. Kindly read it over and tell me what you think.

[Link: www.bostonglobe.com...]

US inadvertently creates a terrorist haven in Mali

By Stephen Kinzer | JULY 15, 2012

This catastrophe did not “just happen.” It is the direct result of an episode that may at first seem unrelated: the US-led intervention in Libya last year. Rarely in recent times has there been a more vivid example of how such interventions can produce devastating unexpected results.

Under the regime of Moammar Khadafy, who was killed during the Libyan war, a portion of the army was made up of Tuaregs. They are a nomadic people whose traditional homeland is centered in northern Mali. After Khadafy was deposed, they went home — armed with potent weaponry they brought from Libya. Seeking to press their case for a homeland in Mali, they quickly overran the lightly armed Malian army.

Into this upheaval stepped another group, shaped not by ethnicity but by devotion to an extreme form of Islam. It has attracted Al Qaeda militants from many countries, including Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia, and Algeria. They seek to create a pure Muslim state — and are destroying mosques and Islamic monuments that they believe represent the wrong kind of Islam.

This is an emerging crisis that could engage the world for years. A vast region has fallen out of the control of central government and into the hands of violent radicals. They may cause far more death and suffering than Khadafy ever did.

Four officials in Washington pressed hard for intervention in Libya last year and managed to persuade President Obama that it was necessary to avoid a humanitarian disaster. When the four of them — Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Ambassador to the United Nation Susan Rice, and two staff members at the National Security Council, Samantha Power and Gayle Smith — decided to lobby for this intervention, did they consider the possible consequences?

It is tempting to imagine that the four knew about the role of Tuaregs in Khadafy’s army, understood that the Tuaregs would return to Mali if Khadafy were overthrown, and realized that this would throw a swath of North Africa into chaos. It is also unlikely. Americans rarely consider the possible negative consequences of foreign interventions.

ntervening violently in the politics of another country is like releasing a wheel at the top of a hill: you have no idea how it will bounce or where it will end up. Perhaps it is too much to expect that well-meaning amateurs like the “gang of four” who pushed the United States into war in Libya would know enough about the country to understand what the consequences of their action might be. It should at least be possible, however, to hope that policy planners would recognize their ignorance. A dose of humility might lead them to realize that military intervention always produces unforeseen consequences.

The American-led intervention in Libya may have given Al Qaeda one of its greatest triumphs since 9/11. This is especially sobering as the United States contemplates a military attack on Iran or Syria. Overwhelming military power guarantees short-term victory in these interventions.

No amount of weaponry, however, can prevent the devastating “blowback” that often follows. The suffering people of Mali are the latest to learn this tragic lesson.


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 Frank says:

I think (Abbey Road is) the best engineered, best mastered rock and roll album ever produced...except that I take exception to stereo placement. -- From "Frank Zappa talks about Faves, Raves, and composers in their g raves" - some English publication, I think. (2 & 3 from the book, "The Lives and Times of Frank Zappa and the Mothers", some Brit thing again (got it at Blue Meanie Imports in San Diego fifteen years ago.)