« profile & posts archive

This author has written 2362 posts for Larvatus Prodeo.

Return to: Homepage | Blog Index

120 responses to “Libya: Realism, ideology and the ‘Responsibility to Protect’”

  1. Lefty E

    Yes, well compiled and thought through Mark. Thats what has struck me from day one here: when did the grand tradition (and I very much mean that) of “anti-imperialism” degenerate into the same sort of uncritical respect for state sovereignty that you might get out of the realists, or the Chinese government handing out dodgy untied loans in Africa for that matter?

    When did that tradition stop caring about popular revolt, and non-state actors (eg, categories like, oh I dunno, class for example), or the fact that some whakcy leftists once thought the state might be a tool of oppression?

    Its seems to that 90% of left thinking has been left on the Finland station – aint there one line in Lenin on imperialism about the progressive character of anti-colonial nationalism?

  2. darragh

    Sorry, Mark, accepted what exactly? That realism describes an international system where states try to survive in a system defined by hobbesian anarchy. Yes, that is true. Accepted that realism accurately describes the world we currently exist in? I think not.

    Saying that, I agree with your line of argument.

  3. darragh

    Sorry, in my haste, forgot to quote the passage I was referring to.

    “Sovereignty of the state is all, and sovereigns contend with each other for advantage in a Hobbesian world (dis)order. Bizarrely, I think, many socialists have accepted this de facto if not de jure.”

    I wondered if you could clarify what exactly you say socialists may have accepted.

  4. Con

    But Rabar’s piece falls victim to some of the sorts of thinking I’ve been critical of – in a rush to ‘Realism’, she tends to lose sight of the actual aim.

    What makes you think that R2P is the “actual aim” of NATO here? Seriously, isn’t that a bit naive?

    This is I think the “idealism” that your “realist” critics complain of: you personally wish to protect civilians, and you hear NATO say they intend to protect civilians, and from these sentiments and statements (commendable as they are) you jump directly to an unwarranted conclusion that this is indeed the actual aim of the NATO forces in fact, and to the related but distinct conclusion that this is what their military campaign will actually achieve in practice. In other words, a non sequitur.

    Sure,legal norms, conceptions of human rights, and other ideological phenomena have a material power (or can do), but they are not all-powerful, and in general they are not the primary determinants of colonial policy – that’s an historical fact.

  5. sg

    in general they are not the primary determinants of colonial policy – that’s an historical fact.

    is too strong a statement. You have assumed the result (colonial policy) and used that to argue Mark is building his argument on an “unwarranted conclusion.” But your “colonial policy” assumption is just as “unwarranted”.

    Under Mark’s hypothesis, state’s actions are more subtle and complex than “colonial policy” and so matching their actions in Libya to their statements of intention is not necessarily unwarranted.

    (And yes I know that word “necessarily” is doing a lot of work here).

  6. Con

    I agree completely that effects are what matters. This is why I feel so heated about the foreign military intervention myself, because I see so little probability that the effects will be positive for ordinary Libyans (or other Africans in fact)

    It’s all very well to say that you can take prudence too far, but we are talking about people’s lives here! We are talking about the destiny of entire nation of people. It behoves you to be a little less cavalier about the outcome, IMHO.

    What’s to stop the Western powers from using their military dominance of Libya to re-establish a full-on colonial relationship with that country? Is your campaign helping to prevent that outcome? In what way?

  7. sg

    What’s to stop the Western powers from using their military dominance of Libya to re-establish a full-on colonial relationship with that country?

    The fact that that is not their intention, and obviously so?

    It really shits me that we’re arguing with these outdated concepts. Why are we even discussing the works of a dead, dictatorial thug from 100 years ago? Surely the left’s powers of political analysis – and its historical “debt” to a political force that is now just a tiny rump of the whole movement (“a wen on the arse of leftism” to paraphrase China Mieville) – has moved on to the point where we can forget these silly ideological categories and analyze things a little more … intelligently?

  8. Con

    The counter-factual has to be taken seriously. Gaddafi and son promised that there would be house to house slaughter in Benghazi

    That’s actually not true, as a point of fact. It may be that there would have been reprisals against rebels (it’s now extremely counterfactual) but I think it’s important not to base your argument on what is essentially a propagandistic distortion of Gaddafi’s statement, in which he actually promised to hunt down any rebels who refused to disarm (“house to house”) and to offer a complete amnesty to those who did disarm.
    But the misquote, and the threat of genocide, etc, reminds me powerfully of the often quoted statement by Ahmadinejad about wiping Israel off the map (which, again, is something he never actually said).

  9. Con


    It really shits me that we’re arguing with these outdated concepts.

    Whoops, I used the taboo word “colonialism”. I must unthink it immediately.

    Why are we even discussing the works of a dead, dictatorial thug from 100 years ago?

    We’re not – we’re talking about Libya.

  10. Con

    Mark – whether they’re telling the truth or not is a matter for debate, but whether their words were twisted is actually an empirical matter. I’ve seen all manner of distortions (off the top of my head, that they “promised to commit genocide”). And that’s simply war propaganda, I’m afraid. I’m disappointed that you would retail it as fact. It doesn’t strengthen your argument any.

  11. Katz

    I think that Mark has not mapped out all of the leftist responses to R2P. By neglecting at least one leftist response he has stacked the deck in favour of his argument.

    “Realism” has its ethical dimension as well, a fact that Mark appears to miss.

    The argument goes like this. There are limits beyond which no ethical person would be willing to go to protect the rebels from Gaddafi. For example, carpet-bombing Tripoli would be quite disproportionate and immoral. And indeed, in pursuit of the R2P, NATO, et al., have set limits on the level of their commitment.

    It is a matter of practical military analysis whether or not this limited commitment will be sufficient to achieve its stated aims, that is the protection of civilians. (I pass over the fact that these aims appear to have morphed into regime change by remote control.) Some folks may believe that NATO’s limits will be sufficient to achieve the desired result. Others disagree. However, the answer to this military question is the central practical and ethical concern.

    If one conscientiously believes that the means chosen by NATO are insufficient to achieve their stated aims, then it would be immoral for that person to lend support to the effort. By definition, that person would be lending support to a futile and perhaps counterproductive course of action which will make matters not better, but worse.

    The person who supports a course of events s/he believes will make matters worse is worse than unethical, s/he is psychopathic.

    Mark’s formulation of the issue, in which there is no ethical alternative to supporting R2P of the Libyan rebels, may would thus induce some conscientious folks to act like psychopaths.

  12. Con

    I doubt that there is a likely outcome which would see Western powers “re-establish a full-on colonial relationship with that country”.

    I look forward to reading why you think that, in the next Drum article. I’ll let you go now 😉

  13. sg

    What’s with the snark, Con. I said “outdated concept” and you reply with bullshit implications of orwellianism.

    If you want to use outdated concepts, you need to defend them, it’s pretty simple really.

  14. darragh

    Hi Mark

    Thanks for clarifying.

    Actually, your response along with the point from another commentator about NATO and R2P raises another issue you may find of interest. I adhere to the critical school of internation security thought, seeing r2p as a device by which powerful states or otherwise can pay lip service to idealistic notions such as humanitarianism without actually changing their behaviour.

    Lots of scholars at Aberwystwyth University have pored over this aspect – for instance Ken Booth and Nicolas Wheeler (http://www.aber.ac.uk/en/interpol/staff/academic/nicholas-wheeler/publications/) – these guys have very interesting perspectives that might be of relevance to this current debate.

  15. Con

    sg if you think the concept of colonialism is no longer applicable you might also consider justifying your opinion instead of just blurting out “it shits me” when I happened to use the word, and getting uptight at the mention of Lenin (by Mark, not me, and what’s more, in a disparaging way).

    So tell us – why is the concept “colonialism” outdated? Is there no such actual phenomenon in the world any more? Is that it? Or there never was? I’m genuinely curious.

    My justification for using the taboo word is that I think colonial relations still exist (although they generally take somewhat different forms than in the past). But for instance, is not Kosovo a colony of the EU? Is not Iraq a (neo-)colony of the USA? In my book they certainly are.

  16. sg

    Con my “it shits me” comment was in reference to leninism, and I understand Mark was being critical. It shits me because whether marxist-leninism has anything to offer the left (at least vis a vis international politics) should be well established now (i.e. zip). But we still have to argue about imperialism with the Dr_Tads of this world as if their marxist-leninist framework was anything but a waste of time (on this issue).

    I don’t deny that colonial relations (and post-colonial complexities) still exist in the world, but I think most western states have long understood that the benefits of colonialism stopped outweighing the costs about 50 years ago. I don’t, for the record, see Iraq as a neo-colonial project, but as a mad and pointless war of choice by an insane clique. And if it were a colonial project then it has shown clearly that colonialism is a bad plan for modern states.

    Not to mention that there is no evidence of a colonial plan by the US or Europe for Libya. You could argue this (wrongly) for Iraq (some sort of occupation plan would have been necessary for it to be a colonial project). But you can’t seriously make this accusation about Libya.

  17. Anita

    Mark I think you meant to put ‘responsibility to protect’, not right

  18. Brendon Porter

    sg @21

    so you draw the line no matter what at boots on the ground in Libya?

    Lots of mission creep so far. From a NFZ, to “of course they have to bomb all the anti aircraft positions. And military bases” ….. to its now “ok to to bomb the Libyan army to support the rebels. The Resolution doesn’t say we can’t.”,

    And now soon Obama will receive a report from the CIA saying there is no extremists among the rebels so it now “ok to give them heavy artillery”

    If that doesn’t work, the next mission creep will have to be boots on the ground. And that means occupation. If it works out like that, I’ll be interested to hear you on that.

  19. sg

    not every occupation is a colonization, Brendon.

  20. GregM

    [email protected] Yes it did. It was an occupation though to replace a previous and malign occupation and to allow the East Timorese the space to reconstruct their society.

    Very much like the Allied occupation of Japan after WW2.

    The Vietnamese occupation of Cambodia starting in 1979, allowed, at least in part, allowed the Khmers to do the same thing.

    As you have said occupation is a loaded term. There can be good and bad occupations.

  21. Dr_Tad

    Wow Mark, thanks for reading all that into my <140 char tweet. I never realised what I was saying or thinking, thought I meant something else by the tweet, but you've set me straight.

  22. Con

    sg I’m genuinely puzzled by your views on neo-colonialism.

    I’m puzzled that you think there is (or was?) no plan for the occupation of Iraq. Obviously it didn’t happen by accident, so I’m kind of at a loss as to what you might mean by that.

    In that example, for instance, what sort of plan would the US need to have in order for their relation to Iraq to be properly described as neo-colonial?

    Given you agree that colonial relationships still do exist in the world today, then which international relationships (if not the US/Iraq relationship) would that term properly apply to?

  23. sg

    I’m puzzled that you think there is (or was?) no plan for the occupation of Iraq.

    I said “colonial project,” not “occupation.” But no matter how one quibbles with language, the fact (well established by now) is that the Americans had no plan for the situation after the war.

    i.e. they had no occupation plan. So how were they colonists?

  24. Nick

    “i.e. they had no occupation plan. So how were they colonists?”

    They’re still there, sg. Your question should be “how are they colonists?”

  25. Katz

    A little understanding of the various species of colonialism would be refreshing.

    This is not the place for a primer on the topic. However, there is no doubt that in 2003 Bush’s neo-con puppeteers intended to impose a Harris Treaty style settlement on Iraq.

    The Japanese, who were at the rough end of the original Harris Treaty, had no doubt that the terms of the Harris Treaty were deeply insulting to Japanese sovereignty and condemned Japan to a status of subordination to US interests.

    Fortunately, Iraq escaped this fate through the stirling efforts of Ayatollah Sistani and about 1,000,000 politicised Shiite pilgrims, who scared the crap out of Bush’s puppeteers.

    Iraq is therefore an example of failed imperial dreams.

  26. Chav

    Going well then is it Mark, Left E et al?

    @11. ‘b) I’ve agreed consistently with Guy Rundle that the relevant criterion for prudential judgement here is the demand of the Libyan revolution itself. The actual colonial mentality is to second guess them, to claim they’re dupes, etc, etc. I don’t say you are doing that – but it’s the thrust of what a lot of Left voices have been saying.’


    I henceforth will accept no retrospective criticism of Bolshevik policies and actions in Russia during the revolution.

  27. Brendon

    GregM @26

    Of course. But I know of very few occupations where the occupying country didn’t go in for financial benefit at least. Certainly we did for East Timor. America made a bundle out of post WW2 reconstruction. I recall an article of how hard the Japanese fought to stop America from coming in and taking over their manufacturing base at the beginning of the occupation.

    America and Britain have reversed the pecking order in Iraq re the oil contracts.

    And often its not for the benefit of the occupying state’s coffers. The looters are often the investors, private companies etc who have the ears of the government. Britain was going broke trying to juggle its empire. But a lot of influential individuals made millions at the same time.

    …”Why? Why did you do that, when now we must both die?”

    “Because,” the scorpion replied sadly, “it’s in my nature to sting. I’m sorry.”….

  28. sg

    Katz, I would characterise what the west was doing to Japan before WW2 (the Harris Treaty, the Treaty of London, meddling in their colonies, etc.) as thuggery, not colonialism. What Japan was doing from the 20s was colonialism, for sure.

    Similarly, I would characterize the latest Iraq adventure as foolish banditry with a good leavening of naked aggression. I don’t think invading someone to kill their leader and steal their shit is colonialism – it’s naked banditry (and in this case arsehattery to boot). The subsequent occupation represents the bitter dregs of that arsehattery, rather than any genuine attempt at colonization.

  29. Brendon

    sg @36

    You separate banditry from colonial policy. I think Modern Pirating tries to do without the cost of colonizing as much as possible. And as you say, the brilliant and wonderful indepth prewar analysis by the brainiacs for the Bush admin (Wolvowitz, Perle, etc) didn’t work out, and support fell away so quickly they had to colonize the place a little.

    Today colonial policy is a last resort. Most looting can be acheived with a ton of propaganda, and by just intalling a client dictator and supplying him with plenty of riot trucks, tear gas, etc. and don’t forget the showcase elections.

  30. sg

    by just intalling a client dictator and supplying him with plenty of riot trucks, tear gas, etc. and don’t forget the showcase elections.

    Sound like anyone we know?

  31. Brendon

    The Shah of Iran?


    Manuel Noriega? The people after Manuel Noriega?

    The guys after Gadaffi?

    Mubarak? The military thats in charge now?

    Ali Abdullah Saleh?


    I have to know! Who do you mean? lol

  32. Down and Out of Sài Gòn

    The Vietnamese occupation of Cambodia starting in 1979, allowed, at least in part, allowed the Khmers to do the same thing.

    Cambodia is not really a precedent for a humanitarian intervention, GregM; in retrospect, it appears like a failed attempt to set up a client state, USSR-style. The invading forces had their own Ahmed Chalabi figure in the form of one Hun Sen, who defected from the Khmer Rouge. It took sanctions and Gorbachev cutting off military aid for the Vietnamese to withdraw. Even so, they didn’t get around to leaving until 1990.

    Hun Sen’s still around, however.

  33. Brendon

    Down and Out of Sài Gòn @40

    watch out now. Saying stuff like that and you will find yourself a Pol Pot supporter especially if you defend your opinion on that.

  34. Tyro Rex

    Noam Chomsky reels out the usual suspects:


    imperialism, oil, history-as-directed-conspiracy, fetishization of the “nation” and its self-determination, and bullshit at the end about “future in their own hands” by which he actually means – in actual practice, just to satisfy his pre-ordained ideological viewpoint – “let them be massacred by gaddaffi”

  35. Lefty E

    I haven’t been following this thread for ages, Chav, so Im not sure to what you refer, but I actually think it is going well enough: high profile defections from Gaddafi’s side, feelers are definitely going out from his sons about how to parachute their family out of there, and of course, the citizens of Benghazi were not massacred by the unelected tyrant’s thugs.

    The rebels are still a bit haphazard, yes, but that only highlights the idiocy of anyone buying the line that they’re some sort of cleverly engineered puppets of a sinister third force.

    There are going to be major challenges ahead, yes. But I remain as unconvinced as I was on day one that any type of future scenario-mapping somehow constitutes an argument against protecting a million civilians in the first instance.

  36. Brendon

    If I was a pirate, and I had all that air power, and I had all my spies on the ground, this is what I’d do:

    I would bomb and attack the Libyan military who were fighting against the rebels who have leaders that go along with my plans of carving the place up post Gadaffi. And I would set traps and deceptions for those who were possibly more nationalist and independent, and get them wiped out by the Libyan military.

    Otherwise every victory would be the rebels. Air power does not work against clever patient insurgents or terrorist tactics. But we are talking about head on battles and the taking of towns. You can’t hide from air power then.

    Just a guess as to the hapharzard results of late. Initially it was all wins and there was talk about them taking Tripoli in weeks. Then that stopped all of a sudden.

  37. joe

    R2P is swill. Orgiastic media violence.

    Libya cannot be seen without the context of what is happening in the Ivory Coast and Afghanistan at the moment.

    The West is busy digging its own grave. We have terrible governments, unscrupulous corporations and a self-obsessed citizenry. I’m betting on the Chinese, as hard as the row is that they have to hoe atm.

  38. Brendon

    I wonder if R2P can be fashioned so that NATO can give arms and support to the Yemeni government against the hoardes of Al Qaeda terrorists hellbent on destruction, and civilian bloodshed.

    I bet it could be. And I bet there would be people who would call you worse than Hitler is you questioned it.

  39. Andrew Reynolds

    Godwin’s Law violation. Brendon loses.

  40. Brett

    I wonder if R2P can be fashioned so that NATO can give arms and support to the Yemeni government against the hoardes of Al Qaeda terrorists hellbent on destruction, and civilian bloodshed.

    There might be people in this hypothetical who would wonder why you bought Gaddafi’s BS about al Qaeda terrorists but not Saleh’s?

  41. Down and Out of Sài Gòn

    “Saying stuff like that and you will find yourself a Pol Pot supporter especially if you defend your opinion on that.”


  42. Brendon

    But to be fair Andrew, you practice Reductio ad Gadaffium on an almost continuous basis.

    Brett, the United States says they are Al Qaeda in Yemen. Doesn’t that mean you have to believe that, or be consigned to being called a Leftist AntiAmerican, Noam Chomsky-type?

    Don’t you have to believe it now? You can’t tell me America lies about this sometimes; and you and only you know when that is.

  43. Brendon

    Down and Out of Sài Gòn,

    I have found here with some people that if you do not go along with common held beliefs, you can accused of anything. I’m not part of the pro intervention supporters. So I am accused of being a Gadaffi propaganderist or something like that.

    I was just having a joke with you.

  44. skip

    It’s clear that the liberal interventionists are happy talking about Realism versus Liberalism, the legal philosophy of Carl Schmitt, the meaning of “solidarity” and “colonialism”, and the role of Engels in the formulation of orthodox historical materialism. It’s less clear that they are able to talk about what NATO is, what NATO does, what the European and American armed forces and political establishments are likely to do and capable of achieving, what is happening in Libya now, and what is likely to happen there in the future. The closest they get to discussing the actual reality of the situation is fantasising about the Storming of Benghazi, and event that all acknowledge did not actually happen.

  45. Brendon

    The Colonel’s son is reporterdly proposing a changeover to a constitutional democracy.


    Surely this would be a good starting point to end the bloodshed and save civilian lives. I’m sure most would agree that NATO should take the proposal seriously if the other side offers it.

  46. Brett

    Skip, I for would be quite happy to talk about those things. But the opponents of the NFZ around here seem stuck on omg imperialism! (piracy for Brendon) omg oil! omg Islamists! omg Iraq! So feel free to start some sensible criticism.

  47. Brett

    Brendon, I’m sure that the rebels would be more than happy to see Saif Gaddafi given control of their country — it’s no doubt what they’ve been fighting for all along. But here’s a thought — how about no Gaddafis involved at all?

  48. Brendon


    another thought: how about a political solution that ends the killing? All this fake concern about civilian casualties. And now the truth comes out.

    The unmitigated bastardry of supporting this phoney “won’t somebody save the children!” campaign is that it is in fact just another bloodythirsty power grab. Like they all are.

    And its encapsulated perfectly when an offer to stop the fighting is rejected based on a variation of Reductio ad Hitlerum.

  49. Brendon


    Retired US general James Jones, who until last October was President Barack Obama’s national security adviser, said the Libya endgame was more “vital” to Europe than to the United States.

    He also acknowledged on Sunday talk shows that ousting Gaddafi’s was the ultimate goal in the coalition air campaign.


    The “vital to Europe” obviously implies this is a strategic gain, and not based on humanitarian reasons. Duh

    Also he straight says the ultimate goal of the Europeans is the overthrow of the Gadaffi regime….to be replaced by who, is the question.

    [please close your markup tags in future – fixed ~moderator]

  50. Brett

    Again, Brendon, you’re denying the Libyan people any agency here. They seem to have decided that it’s worth risking civilian lives — their own lives — to stand up to Gaddafi and get rid of him. Realistically, do you think they’ll then be happy if all their sacrifices have accomplished is replace Gaddafi with his son?

    And why do you keep going on about ‘to be replaced by who, is the question’. What, exactly, are you afraid of and why do you think they will be worse than Gaddafi? Can you spell it out please, rather than just inanely repeating the question?

  51. Andrew Reynolds

    Here’s an idea – let’s let them choose. They had a choice after the Italians left and then Gaddafi decided that he did not like that choice and threw them out.
    Theoretically, and legally, the old constitution should still be in force. I see no reason why that could not come back in and then be changed. While it had its faults it did provide for reasonable democratic safeguards.

  52. Andrew Reynolds

    Meanwhile Brendon – here is the sort or reason why the UN passed the resolution

  53. Brendon

    Andrew, I didn’t want a war. It was you who craved it. I said negotiations. You said, War!

    The link you just gave is the reason why I wanted negotiations instead of what you wanted.

    And yes negotiations would mean compromise and that would have meant a transitional period and some bargaining and the Gadaffis’ being involved. Better than all this suffering you wanted so badly.

  54. Andrew Reynolds

    Where did I say that I wanted war, Brendon – or is this just another example of putting words into my mouth?

  55. Brendon

    Andrew Reynolds on whether the rebels should accept an offer for negotiation from the Gadaffi regime, or refuse and fight instead:

    … If I were in the place of the Libyan opposition I would trust Gaddafi – but the trust would extend about as far as believing he will do anything and everything he can to hold on to power.

    In the place of the rebels in Benghazi I hope I would have the courage to fight. I am just glad that I live in a country where that is not necessary.


  56. Andrew Reynolds

    Want war? No. Prefer he went? Yes. Trust him (as I made clear)? No.
    Gadaffi’s troops shelling civilian areas before international intervention? Yes.
    Brendon making more attempts to get around actually answering anything? Again, yes.

  57. Andrew Reynolds

    And as for your #57 – “vital to Europe” would be due to the humanitarian situation. There are a lot of refugees leaving Libya for Europe (Italy mainly). Very few of them are heading for the US. Resolve the situation and let Libyans choose their own leaders results in few, if any, refugees.

  58. Brendon


    Jusrt to reiterate what you said:

    Where did I say that I wanted war”

    Don’t try to wriggle out of it with your version of Reductio ad Hitlerum.

    It might be a YAWN for you. But then again you aren’t the one getting shelled. You just supported it. You wanted it.

    You said you preferred to go to war (fight) than negotiate. I point that out to you, and you try to wriggle out of it. Blame everytrhing on Gadaffi. Even your lust for a war.

    Its absurd to say you wouldn’t trust Gadaffi – the only leader there is to negotiate with – and prefer to fight. That is just the position of an extremist.

    The Americans negotiated oil deals with Gadaffi, the Britiah sold him arms. And the French. All very very recently – last year. All your heroes of goodness did this. But you wouldn’t.

  59. Brett

    Its absurd to say you wouldn’t trust Gadaffi – the only leader there is to negotiate with – and prefer to fight. That is just the position of an extremist.

    Er, what? You don’t think there is any situation in which it might be better to keep fighting? Unless you are an absolute pacifist, I doubt that can be true.

    Put it this way: it’s because he’s ‘the only leader there is to negotiate with’ that they’re fighting. Because his opening negotiating gambit was to shoot at them.

  60. Andrew Reynolds

    Sorry, Brendon – but you are the one that keeps losing the argument through Godwin’s law violations.
    I don’t want war any more than any other reasonably sensible person does. However, if someone started shelling and shooting at me and my family I hope I would not skulk in the basement waiting for someone else to start negotiations. I hope I would be brave enough to get out there and do something practical.
    That is exactly what I said earlier and your attempt, sorry, though it is, to try to make that into a position akin to “craving war” is just plain pathetic.
    Another loss for you.
    I wouldn’t trust Gaddafi for the simple reason that he started the shooting and the evidence is that it was provoked by nothing more than people asking for what should be basic rights – the right to chose how they are governed and by who.
    He has a long, long history of deception and lies and torturing and killing those who oppose him.
    I see no basis for trust in that. Perhaps, with your apparently rosy view of him, you think you could negotiate with him. We can differ on that – but for you to say that this position means I “crave war” is, as I said before, pathetic.

  61. Chav

    Anyone for a game of imperialist domino’s?

    “French and UN helicopters have attacked forces loyal to Ivory Coast’s incumbent leader, Laurent Gbagbo.”

    I know folks here would like to play!

  62. Old Yobbo


    This from the Guardian:

    “Four missiles reported to have been fired as UN seeks to stop weapons being used to hit Ivorian civilians …. ”

    – as they have been mandated to do: R2P, a duty to protect civilians.

    And indirectly, their actions were in support of the duly-elected President.

    But elections are so bourgeois, aren’t they ?

  63. Chav

    Well, they are if they are elections to a bourgeois parliament.

    Interesting though,…still no airstrikes in Bahrain or Yemen…one would almost begin to think Western intervention is more concerned with something other than protecting civilians…

  64. Brendon

    The R2P doctrine now has the West cozying up to politicians who order terrorist attacks and assassinations, so it would seem:

    Financial Sanctions Are Dropped Against Libyan Defector Moussa Koussa, a top Libyan official who fled to Britain last week, at news conference in Tripoli on March 18.

    But as the longtime Libyan intelligence chief and foreign minister, Mr. Koussa is widely believed to be implicated in acts of terrorism and murder over the last three decades, including the assassination of dissidents, the training of international terrorists and the bombing of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988…..

    “He was both the left arm and the right arm of the regime, its bloodhound,” said Dirk Vandewalle, a Dartmouth professor who has studied Libya for many years.


    What happened to never negotiating with these folk.

  65. Katz

    It’s nice to know that Mr Koussa is now free to activate his Swiss bank accounts.

    Maybe now he will can afford to pay a consoling visit to the survivors of the Pan Am 103 victims.

  66. j_p_z

    “The R2P doctrine now has the West cozying up…”

    Heh heh heh. You just said “doctrine”.

    As if that word actually means anything here.

    Leftists just looove words like “doctrine,” dontcha.

    R2P! R2P! Obama Doctrine! Whoops, lookit that, I’ve already got a woody!


    OK, well, guess it’s finally time.

    Lookit by now y’all oughta know how much meaner I could be about all this, go figure.

    So, a bit of mild restraint will be one of my parting gifts, in honor of your ongoing generosity. (Mods, you know very well why I’m parting.) And I have very much appreciated your hospitality all this time, regardless of whether I think… erm… well… let’s not go there, eh?

    Well as they say (and they actually do)… So long, and thanks for all the fish!


  67. Brett

    Brendon, you are the one who keeps insisting that negotiation is the only non-‘extremist’ way forward here. Shouldn’t you be applauding this move?

  68. Brendon

    This isn’t negotiation for peace, this is doing deals to continue the war with the advantage of extra info from someone as bad a Gadaffi himself.

    Brett, you and Andrew are saying no negotiation because he can’t be trusted and he should be tried for crimes.

    I merely point out your hypocricy.

    Unless you can say what you think of the deal between this guy and Obama

  69. Brett

    This isn’t negotiation for peace, this is doing deals to continue the war with the advantage of extra info from someone as bad a Gadaffi himself.

    Ah, so it would be okay if a tyrant’s henchman gets his money if the rebels put down their arms as well. Quid pro quo, after all.

    And, yes, I’m sure the US and Britain do want to ‘continue the war’, for as long as possible no doubt. Nothing they do should be construed as an attempt to shorten the war or bring it to a conclusion, unless of course it’s direct dealing with a Gaddafi.

    Brett, you and Andrew are saying no negotiation because he can’t be trusted and he should be tried for crimes.

    I merely point out your hypocricy.

    Hypocrisy? I wasn’t aware I was the one making deals (or prosecuting wars). How does this US action show my hypocrisy?

    Unless you can say what you think of the deal between this guy and Obama

    I ‘can say’, thanks for asking, not imputing. I don’t like it, but I can see why they did it. But it’s a US embargo and it’s up to them what they do. I doubt it will go down well in free Libya, though, and in the end I would prefer they have the final say about what happens to their tormentors. I will note that there is nothing here which gives Koussa immunity from prosecution, either in Libya or at the ICC (which the US has little influence over anyway, since it didn’t sign up to it). So he can still get his day in court.

  70. joe

    Well, we’re approaching the debrief stage, I guess.

    Libya: Politics of humanitarian intervention.

    — Mahmood Mamdani

    The process of implementing the UN resolution on Libya was a poorly executed farce with no long-term foresight.

    The full political cost will become clear in the period of transition. The anti-Gaddafi coalition comprises four different political trends: radical Islamists, royalists, tribalists, and secular middle class activists produced by a Western-oriented educational system.

    Of these, only the radical Islamists, especially those linked organisationally to Al Qaeda, have battle experience.

    They – like NATO – have the most to gain in the short term from a process that is more military than political. This is why the most likely outcome of a military resolution in Libya will be an Afghanistan-type civil war.

    One would think that this would be clear to the powers waging the current war on Libya, because they were the same powers waging war in Afghanistan. Yet, they have so far showed little interest in a political resolution. Several facts point to this.

    The African Union delegation sent to Libya to begin discussions with Col. Gaddafi in pursuit of a political resolution to the conflict was denied permission to fly over Libya – and thus land in Tripoli – by the NATO powers.

    The New York Times reported that Libyan tanks on the road to Benghazi were bombed from the air Iraq War-style, when they were retreating and not when they were advancing.

    The two pilots of the US fighter jet F15-E that crashed near Benghazi were rescued by US forces on the ground, now admitted to be CIA operatives, a clear violation of Resolution 1973 that points to an early introduction of ground forces.

    The logic of a political resolution was made clear by Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, in a different context: “We have made clear that security alone cannot resolve the challenges facing Bahrain. Violence is not the answer, a political process is.”

    For all of you who have supported the intervention, you need to think deeply about the possible long-term political fallout from Libya.

  71. Chav

    Well, I would suggest the result will be an increasingly tight grip by NATO, Washington and the CIA on the revolution’s leadership which in turn will make it increasingly difficult for any radical or progressive strand to play a major role. A fragile liberal democracy, neoliberally oriented and dependant on the West existing in a partitioned eastern statelet may now be the best on offer. As for any deal that leaves Gaddafi or his sons in power in the West of the country, well bad luck if you are a revolutionary living there…

  72. Katz

    Japerz @74 signs off … AGAIN!

    Japerz may be the first recorded case of RSI of the flounce tendons.

    See yuz, as they say (and they DO), Japerz.

  73. Brendon

    Bay far the most informative article I have read on the conflict, Joe.

    I would like someone to explain from the pro-war side how NATO bombing to allow rebels to take pro Gadaffi towns is saving civilian lives.

  74. Andrew Reynolds

    Just in case you are genuinely interested, my guess is that Koussa is or was an MI6 asset. I would not like it if it were the case, but as I said, that is just my guess.
    The long term consequences of having Gaddafi still there are perfectly clear. The possibility that the result could be worse is always there, but it is difficult to argue that the world should stand by and watch civilians being shelled. That argument has been made before and the consequences were not brilliant in any of them.
    Governments, like the rest of us, have no unique foresight. We all just make it up as we go along – but governments have one big difference. They can act with violence and expect to be able to get away with it. To me, if that gets seriously out of hand then the only people that can reasonably act to try to stop it is other governments.
    To me, that’s why the R2P doctrine has been brought into existence. It is just important that it is limited to cases where crimes against humanity are in progress.
    Exactly what that means will have to be made up as we go along – as all (good) laws have been in the past.

  75. Katz

    Just in case you are genuinely interested, my guess is that Koussa is or was an MI6 asset. I would not like it if it were the case, but as I said, that is just my guess.

    So AR suspects that MI6 was party to the bombing of Pan Am 103…

    … fascinating.

  76. Andrew Reynolds

    Are you joining the trolls, or have you always been there and I have not noticed?

  77. Katz

    Flinging personal insults will get you nowhere, AR, except maybe into moderation. (BTW, I hope that doesn’t happen because much entertainment value would disappear from this site.)

    Memo to mods: please give AR maximum latitude.

    … So back to matters of substance …

    It’s your fantasy.

    According to you, what date did Mr Koussa sign up with MI6?

    I’m still fascinated.

  78. Andrew Reynolds

    Personal insults? Hmm – perhaps you should leave that one alone, Katz. Stones and glass houses…

    No fantasy – it has been widely reported and seems plausible, given the circumstances of his extraction and what has happened subsequently. I obviously have no unique picture on that.
    When did he start? No idea – but he did spend quite a while in the UK from time to time. The bombing happened in 1988, so if it is true then there are many options that would mean that MI6 had nothing to do with it and no foreknowledge.
    But then a reasonably intelligent non-troll would know that.

  79. Brendon

    Andrew Reynolds,

    you must know more about the Koussa story than I do in that case.

    I believe at the moment he would have diplomatic immunity and that is what is saving him from prosecution ATM.

    It is difficult to believe he has gone there of his own free will and not cut a deal to avoid prosecution. And it is to be expected that the coalition wouldn’t be too happy to let out the details of that deal. I think the first part would be to free up his finances.

  80. Andrew Reynolds

    I was listening to a BBC story on him on the way home (IIRC) the night before last. The whole things seems odd, which to me generally means intelligence agency involvement. As the head of Libyan intelligence and then FM he would have been a prize asset.
    As I said, I have no knowledge beyond what has been said or appeared in the media.
    I don’t think he would have diplomatic immunity as he has resigned as FM. The sanctions would not have been removed if that was all he was relying on.

  81. Andrew Reynolds

    BTW – I would agree. I would think that he believes he has a deal. Whether the UK government believes the same is a different question.

  82. Katz

    No idea – but he did spend quite a while in the UK from time to time. The bombing happened in 1988, so if it is true then there are many options that would mean that MI6 had nothing to do with it and no foreknowledge.


  83. Andrew Reynolds

    Thanks, Katz – I was wondering where you got your information from. Now we know.

  84. Brendon

    Informative article on the oil factor


    And of course, now we know who those defectors have been talking to:

    THE HAGUE — The International Criminal Court has started a formal investigation into possible crimes against humanity in Libyathat will focus on the role of the country’s leader, Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, several of his sons and members of his inner circle, the chief prosecutor said Thursday.
    Luis Moreno-Ocampo, the prosecutor, said his office had received confirmation that Libyan security forces had fired on peaceful demonstrators, killing hundreds, and that many had been illegally detained in episodes involving at least nine different towns since Feb. 15.
    He also said in an interview that judging by the information he had received, many more insiders from the Libyan government had defected than was publicly known. “The system appears to be breaking down,” he said, adding that reports about recent events and the inner workings of the government had come from multiple sources. “We cannot name names to protect the families,” he said.


    Hi Hague. Yemen, Bahrain, Egypt and just about every US President since WW2 says hi. lol

  85. Andrew Reynolds

    Good to see you treat blogs to be the equivalent of journalist news sources. Makes a nice change from believing the Libyan Ministry of Propaganda.

  86. Brendon


    I think you can see I post a mixture. Mainly me, sometimes when an article I think is very salient and concise I’ll post that without much comment.

    At least I don’t spend too much time analyzing other posters, and if I do its generally just a small part of what I write.

    But anyhoo, whats happened to R2P? Obama so far looks like he is walking away. The Europeans are divided and not of much help according to the rebel leadership.

    My view that once Gadaffi called for a ceasefire at the time of the UNSC resolution, thats when the coalition should have pressed both sides for negotiation is looking like it would have been goood policy as opposed to the War Party cry of Bomb, Bomb, Bomb, Bomb Gadaffi!, To paraphrase McCain.

  87. Andrew Reynolds

    At the time of the UN resolution Gaddafi did, your are correct, call a ceasefire. The problem was that:
    a) It took him until a UN resolution and after a referral to the ICC to get around to noticing that slaughtering peaceful civilian protesters with heavy weapons was actually not that good a thing to do;
    b) No one seems to have told his actual army that a ceasefire was in effect as the shooting by the army continued; and
    c) If he wanted a ceasefire than perhaps he should not have started the firing in the first place.
    As for Obama – maybe you should speak with someone that agrees with him – or perhaps understands where or what he is up to.
    You certainly do not seem to fall in that category as you have been consistently wrong on what they will do from the day you started forecasting mission creep.
    The only creep here in the mission seems to be the creeping away.

  88. Brendon

    a/ Is not a problem. Also the Libyan government called for negotiations before this and they were rejected by the rebels. Even if that was not the case, there still isn’t a problem as the UNSC was designed prevent civilian casualties and end hostilities.

    b/ What you say here is not factually based. There is no evidence other than than accusations by the rebels for this, and they were keen for war. If there was a will by all parties the odd angry shot from individuals would not prevent negotiations. In fact I recall the British Prime Minister saying that a cease fire was not good enough,and they had to withdraw as well. Evidence shows they did that too. Nothing noble about it, as once the the UNSC resolution came into force, Gadaffi was outgunned.

    c/ Here you are just looking for an argument; a justification for war and violence “He started it!”. And anyway that does not reflect the supposed spirit of the UNSC Resolution, which was not to incite and encourage a civil war where thousands of civilians will get killed.

    So now you don’t agree with Obama, the man who framed the whole R2P cover in the first place?

  89. Andrew Reynolds

    There is not that much I agree with Obama on.
    A) So – it is not a problem having a government using heavy weapons against unarmed protesters? Really?
    B) More “facts” from the Libyan ministry of Propaganda. Your feed must be back up.
    C) Correct – it is not. But your moral equivalence is worrying. Is it OK (once again) to use heavy weapons against unarmed protesters provided you say “Oops – sorry. I promise (with sugar on top) not to do it again. After all – they started it by shooting back” once the UNSC actually gets its arse into gear?

  90. j_p_z

    Katz @ # 80 — Is that snarky tone really the way you want to go out? It’s not my preference. Long may you run, brotha!

    Personally I think we’ve had some fun here, breaking a lance or three… hundred. I also don’t think you have an accurate grasp of my motivations, but that’s neither here nor there. Be cool and glide on! And listen to Tom Verlaine whenever the chance arises!

    Meantime, best wishes to all you sturdy yeomen of Leftoid Ozblogistan. (Isn’t it cool that there are words in English that describe such a category?)

    Hit ’em where they ain’t! (attributed to Casey Stengel, but accounts vary.)


    — Dan / zenger

  91. Brendon


    A) There is a problem using light weapons against unarmed protesters. As was also done in states that are friendly to the west but don’t have much oil and have been largely downplayed. I don’t know why you need to repeatedley make up stories about aerial attacks. I thought we put that one to sleep.

    B) Yes, I’m getting my feed back. They just repaired the aerial. I note your Nazi Party/Warmonger/Carlyle Group/Exxon feed is keeping you informed too.

    C) You use the same lie in two points! Interesting. You seem to put a lot of weight in that lie. It isn’t the UNSC, btw. Its the usual gaggle of Western pirates: America, Britain, France. You may not know this but they have done a bit of resource pirating in the region these past 100 or so years. They got a rubber stamp from ther UNSC this time. That is what is probably confusing you.

  92. Chav

    ‘Since the beginning of the crisis in Libya there has been a whiff of panic about the diplomatic, humanitarian and military strategy pursued by the government of David Cameron. Acting on media reports of the bombing of peaceful demonstrations and widespread atrocities allegedly carried out by mercenaries – not all of which proved to be true – Britain pushed for sanctions against Colonel Muammar Gaddafi at the UN.’


    That the Cruise Missile Left on this blog would rush into the fray on the coattails of the likes of arch Tories Cameron and Hague is a damning indictment of their politics.

  93. Katz

    Oh, c’mon Japerz. You’ve pulled this stunt more than once before. The first couple of episodes I’ve marked with a quick-drying private tear.

    But by now you’ve exhausted my lachrymal reserves.

    How otherwise is your most recent exit to be marked? Does the most recent edition of Emily Post have a section in her estimable volume on this matter? My copy predates the blogosphere.

    I’ve enjoyed our encounters. No offence was taken and beyond teasing, none was intended.

    I’m confident that you’ll be back but if not, well, ta ta.

  94. Andrew Reynolds

    A) No planes, no heavy weapons. My mistake. It must have been love notes that killed those people.
    B) If it is that feed I am getting, then it seems to be shared with just about everyone here other than you and Katz. Again, you lose the argument with a Godwin’s law violation – I think that is three losses for you and none for me. Loser.
    C) “Lie” is a strong word, Brendon. You are the one that has continually shown to be in error here. As a side question, have the got the idea of the flow of time yet? As a hint – the 23rd of February is after the 15th of February. Perhaps you have forgotten that one? You seem to have a gift for it.

  95. Brendon

    Been there, done that, Andrew.

    Do we really have to go through this again? It seems to be some weird debating technique you have to state propaganda claims from the rebels as fact, then have me say they has not been substantiated at all. Then you go on to say I’m a Libyan government mouthpiece because I’m trying to get an agreement of known facts.

    Try and stick to established facts, at least. You can have your own opinions and predictions. But don’t keep trawling up the same lies. I call them lies if you keep presenting them as facts. My apologies if you have Alzheimer’s.

    The US DoD said they had no credible evidence for aerial attacks on civilian protesters. Amnesty International has not mentioned any evidence for aerial attacks on civilian protesters in their reports. None of the MSM has backed up with any credible evidence after the initial claim by an Al Jeera report on what an unverified phone caller told them. Human Rights Watch who were the main group tallying up the death tolls in hospitals (so they definitely had a presence) made no mention of aerial attacks on civilian protesters.

    Now we have the ICC. And they do not accuse Gadaffi of using tanks or planes against civilians. I believe the evidence is mainly based on defectors, who are saying that Gadaffi planned on shooting protesters to control the crowd. I’d believe that. Thats not as bad as the US in Iraq, where in Fallujah they went in for mass slaughter. But its as bad as say Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen..etc.

    As for the hypocricy of what you support:


    That really says it all. Obama making up some cover about protecting civilians so they can get control of Libya. Then doing everything he can to protect his buddies who did the same as Gadaffi.

    Right now the rebels are selling oil to buy weapons. You must be really enjoying that.

  96. Katz

    Act in haste, repent at your leisure.

    One of Russia’s snares snaps shut:

    Just days after forsaking its chance to veto the United Nations resolution that authorised the air strikes, Russia offered the most jarring commentary on the action against Libya, with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin saying: “The resolution is flawed. It allows everything and is reminiscent of a medieval call for a crusade. In fact, it allows intervention in a sovereign state.”

    Mmm … “crusade” … that’s an interesting word.

  97. Chav

    Oh dear,…now that’s what I call Mission Creep…

    Libya conflict: EU awaits UN approval for deployment of ground troops

    European member states poised to send 1,000 soldiers to besieged rebel city of Misrata to assist relief effort.

    How’s that all working out for you Lefty E, Mark B et al?

  98. Brendon

    1000 NATO troops to encourage further civil war?

    All the UN has to do is request a ceasefire and negotiations, which the Libyan government would jump at.

    Instead they just roll on with the demonization play.

    Since the fighting in Misrata least 267 people have been killed. Thanks to the UN created war.

    This is history in the making. The UN seeing an opportunity and turning a rebellion into a civil war.

    267 is too many. The US would kill that many in an afternoon in Iraq, though. And they sure wouldn’t let the UN in after to count the bodies.


  99. sg

    Since the fighting in Misrata least 267 people have been killed

    Was it the UN that dropped those phosphor bombs in Misrata, Brendon?

  100. Brett

    sg, if a dictator can’t kill people in his own country, well, where can he kill people? I mean you’d have to ask yourself why you would bother being a dictator at all, wouldn’t you?

    Also, ‘Moussa Ibrahim said it was the rebels who were killing civilians’ in Misrata, not the Libyan government, so there.

  101. Brendon

    No sg, I think the Americans dropped them in Fallujah.

    And supplied the ones that were used in Gaza. And started making it fashionable again recently to torture people to get them to say what you want to hear. And hold people in solitary confinement for over a year with no charge until they become mentally unstable. And jail children, and use rape as a weapon of coercion…etc Read Seymour Hersh on all that.

    Gosh, look at me. I’m demonizing America!

    But just to prove a point that demonizing Libya (or anywhere else) doesn’t work on people literate about what really goes on in this old world.

  102. sg

    Oh dear Brendon, you haven’t been paying attention, have you?

    In this case the cluster bombs being used in Misrata were built by the Spanish.

    Good point Brett, I appear once again to have failed to consider the feelings of the dictator…

  103. Brendon

    sg, remind me, is Spain a member of NATO?

    The Libyan military say they don’t even have the things in stock.

    Got any proof the Spanish even sold them to Libya? Or isn’t that cat meant to be belled? lol

    All the press and the reports came out about a Libyan jet breaking curfew. Do you remember that lie? Turned out to be a rebel pilot doing it to get the UN to start bombing.

    Or do you just forget that lie and move on to the next one and be all incredulous about it as if you never saw a lie coming before.

    I wouldn’t put too much trust in what either side says. But I would put less trust in what the Pirates say. The French are looking for an excuse to bomb Libya, and France wants a bigger slice of the world oil share. Libya seems to be the consolation prize that no-one is that keen to help it get.

    So far France has not offered America enough to get interested. And if the US war machine isn’t in on it, things go slow, it seems. They need to offer more of the bloody carcass to the US.

    BTW, you want a laugh? Read up on William Safire’s articles circa 2002 claiming from reliable sources that the French supplied Saddam with all kinds of WMDs in direct breach of the sanctions. All lies of course. If you can’t trust the NYT, who can you trust, eh?

  104. sg

    Well Brendon, if the Libyan army says it’s true, who am I to dispute it?

  105. sg

    says it’s *not* true…

  106. Brendon

    well, if you say the pirates say its true, who am I to say its not.

    BTW, its nothing to me, I don’t know the truth of it, other than my own suspicions every time the WAR MACHINE’S organs tell us something darsdardly about someone they want to bomb.. But what do you think should happen about it, sg?

    Wink, wink, nudge, nudge

    Now, for a bit of recent history from your heroes, the the civilian-protecting freedom-fries-loving Americans. This is killing!

    U.S. Massacre in Fallujah, Iraq: Death Toll for Week More Than 600

    More than 600 Iraqis have been killed in Fallujah since U.S. Marines began a siege against Sunni insurgents in the city a week ago, most of them women, children and the elderly, the head of the city’s hospital said Sunday. April 12, 2004


    A week, sg! over 600 killed in a week! By your heroes.

    Frankly, I wouldn’t send a bunch of murdering psychopaths over to save civilians. You would, for some reason.

    Also, it answers Brett’s question, kinda: if the West can’t kill their own people, who can they kill. We know, don’t we.

  107. Brendon

    sg, @113

    Those cluster bombs are delivered by plane. Even the rebels said they were dropped from the sky.

    See if you can bell that cat.

    OK, I’ll make it simpler for you. Libya isn’t flying any planes as the US destroyed their airforce capabilities. To say I doubt very much that the Libyan military has any planes flying over anywhere is an understatement. No planes, no cluster bombs.

    If there are credible sightings, then it is NATO dropping them. It can only be NATO dropping them. Get it? You do understand basic logic, I hope.

    Never mind, in another week they will pop off another lie, and you can believe that. I’m thinking the old human shield accusation. You will believe that, I’m sure.

  108. Brendon

    Now sg, I’ve said “not true”

    Your turn to try explaining to me how the Lubyan military got a plane up over Misrati when the Americans have stated point blank Libya’s airforce is knocked out, and NATO and the US patrol the sky.

    Libya’s air force “no longer exists as a fighting force” following devastating air strikes by international coalition forces, a British military officer has claimed.

    The claim came as fierce fighting continued on the ground on Wednesday as forces loyal to embattled Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi continued their offensive against anti-government rebels across the north African state.

    Addressing journalists at an air base in southern Italy, from which Royal Air Force (RAF) warplanes have been operating, Air Vice Marshall Greg Bagwell said international coalition forces could operate with impunity over Libya.

    “Effectively, [Libya’s] air force no longer exists as a fighting force,” said Bagwell. “And his [Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s] integrated air defence system and command and control networks are severely degraded to the point that we can operate over his airspace with impunity,” he said.


    So, try explaining it all to me.

  109. Brett

    Following Mark’s NB in the post, I’ve responded to Brendon’s 115 in the roundtable.

  110. Chav

    Hurrah for ‘humanitarian intervention’!

    Liberated to death!


  111. Brendon

    Yes, have been watching it. Syria – no oil, Yemen (the rebels are called terrorists over there)- no oil. And R2P now means bombing the crap out of civilian cities and claiming every building is a military target. Then denying that. Then admitting it and saying, so what?

  112. Brendon

    ZLITAN, Libya (AP) — A hospital worker in western Libya said that NATO forces struck a local hospital on Monday and killed seven people, including three doctors.

    Libyan government minders brought journalists Monday to the destroyed hospital in the town of Zlitan, about a two hours drive east of the capital Tripoli. The reporters were also taken to several food warehouses that the government said were damaged in the airstrikes and were still burning.

    The forgotten war.