My short-term concerns about Libya

25 Feb

About a year ago I posted about how my life resembled Sisyphus and Cassandra and it is the Cassandra part that is worried. I do not care to enter into political discussions on the internet because people are too emotionally attached to their beliefs/opinions, no one ever seems to change anybodies mind, believing they are right and just means the other is wrong and evil therefore this grants them permission to be ugly to the other while at the very same moment condemning them for being nasty. I don’t like being insulted, particularly  unjustly.

So, given that – here goes. Earlier I criticized our government, in particular the state department, for being totally unprepared for the Egyptian revolt. There was no preparation – like there has never been the popular overthrow of a pro-American authoritarian regime before.

Well the executive branch is still behind the curve on Libya. It took 9 days for the President to make a statement. As the de facto leader of the free-world, his statements or lack of them mean something. It is the international equivalent to body language – “Back off or you’ll be sorry” versus “Hey, it is none of my business.”

For the last week we have been hearing of stories of atrocities in Libya like the following.

Intel from inside Libya from a very reliable friend:

Mr. Schwanner,

I run a manufacturing business in Harvey, LA which builds oilfield equipment. We have sales agents in several foreign countries, including Libya. This morning I received two emails from my agent in Tripoli. This gentleman has a PhD in Engineering, and has been representing U.S. and European companies in North Africa for many years. He was introduced to me two years ago by a member of the U.S. Commercial Service team from New Orleans. He was part of a Libyan trade delegation to the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston sponsored by the U.S. Commercial Service. I have every reason to believe that his observations are as accurate as can be expected under the circumstances he finds himself in. Here is the text of his two emails:

Received at 2:25 AM CST

I do appreciate your concern. My family is not in Libya. They are safe. I am barricaded in an apartment with enough food and water for about two weeks. I am fine. We do have electricity and water supply, but the mad dog is threatening to shut them off. Cell phones are down most of the time. The Internet is very sporadic and extremely slow to prevent people from sending photos and videos. When my monthly internet subscription expires, I will have no way to renew it.
It is very bad. African mercenaries are shooting heavy automatic weapons, killing, looting banks, and raping. Mercenary Gunships & Choppers are shooting rockets and using paid snipers to hunt defenseless protesters. The mad dog is threatening violence has not started yet. Young protesters use pebbles to fight back, and are putting up barricades on streets to delay the mercenaries. I hope we don’t see Mustard gas being used against the civilian population. We have no functioning army or police, only mercenaries. The mad dog has never trusted the Libyan military, so the deserted military have very little weapons. Practically all the dead military have been shot for disloyalty by the mad dog and his family not by protesters. The mad dog has more than enough billions to pay the mercenaries.
Surprisingly, there are no reports of Libyan gangs roaming the streets. The Libyans are united against the mad dog and there is not going to be a civil war, only mercenary war against peaceful protesters. To get the support of the west, the mad dog is claiming the protests and the uprising are arranged and controlled by Muslim extremists. Nothing can be further from the truth.
Please urge the UN to arrange for Arab armies to go into Libya and to impose a no-fly zone.
Take care.

Received at 4:12 AM CST

We now have mercenaries from dozens of counties from several continents. Ukrainians are flying the choppers and manning the sniper positions. Serbs are flying the fighter jets, and hundreds of killers from eastern & western Europe, the middle east and the Indian subcontinent. Loads of planes continue to arrive.
We hear mercenaries are rewarded $10K to $30K a day and generous bonuses for every protester they kill. Libyan oil money is being used to kill Libyans.
High level Defections from the regime is now rampant. Very soon the mad dog will be alone with mercenaries.
Take care

If you need to contact me for verification my cell is 504-xxx-xxx. Please help get the word out about the dire situation in Tripoli.

I am concern the follow scenario will happen:

  1. Mercenaries brought in to squelch the rebellion.
  2. When Gaddafi falls the mercenaries will be looking to get out.
  3. For their own protection, they will take hostages.
  4. European and American civilian remain in Libya and are prime targets to become hostages.
  5. There are currently no NATO, including US, battle groups in the Mediterranean sea capable of a forcible extraction of non-combatants.
  6. No orders to preposition a carrier group capable of carrying out such a mission, if needed, have been given.
  7. Egypt is not in a position to perform this task. (I don’t know if there are any behind the scenes discussion with them to provide some aid.)
  8. It will take 36 to 72 hours to transit a carrier group just to begin preparations in case an extraction by force is necessary.

Plan for the worst – hope for the best.

Knowing that a military response is ready will have a psychological effect making less likely to be needed.


Update: March 2, 2011 – US Navy now headed to Libya



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